Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dean ‘Chamber’ Karsky defends TIFs

During the open discussion of the Minnehaha County Commission Meeting on Tuesday (FF:42:15) dean defended TIFs like they were his children. It started when Barth wanted to explain further his position in the newspaper.

Jeff said he wasn’t opposed to TIFs but wished the County Commission could make an independent decision about forgoing their share of tax money instead of the city just making that decision for them.

Dean, being the good Chamber of Commerce brown nosed soldier he is couldn’t let Jeff’s comments stand.

Dean started by peddling the half-truth that TIF’s ‘Don’t take away anything (from the county) because as he put it, “You can’t take away something you don’t have.” Well, Dean, maybe I should tell Pam Nelson that the next time I refuse to pay my property tax bill.

He went on to say he thinks TIF’s are a wonderful development tool AND incentive (yes, wonderful to the developer who gets a 13-14 year property tax break*) Does Lloyd who owns thousands of apartment units and pays more property taxes than anyone else in the County really need an ‘incentive’ to the develop? Is the company that destitute? Dean also claims that we don’t buy them the land. No, but with the Lloyd TIF we are really just giving it away. The TIF is $4.1 Million, soil cleanup is $3.1 million and the purchase price is around $900K. The way I look at it, they are getting the land for free.

Jeff responds to Dean that the city is pretty much ‘giving away’ the property (as I have pointed out) he also points out that if the city has these kind of assets/funds to give away, they could have cleaned up the soil themselves at their cost (as I have also pointed out in the past). Jeff sums up TIF’s by saying, “Tools that belong to the city that spite our interest.”

*It’s actually almost 25 years when you consider this property was supposed to be bought and developed by Lloyd over 10 years ago, instead the taxpayers of Sioux Falls sat on this land, collecting ZERO property taxes from it and essentially holding it for the Lloyd Companies. How would you like a 25 year property tax break? Think of all the upgrades you could do to your home?

Sioux Falls City Councilors Rolfing & Erpenbach may be proposing election changes

Yeah, worked for me, but I still want to ruin it for everyone else.

The rumors I am hearing from my Carnegie Hall moles is that this set of councilors want to change the 34% threshold to be elected to a council seat in a general election to a 51% threshold like the mayor. Not sure where this is even coming from, considering myself, or even other councilors, or the media have never thought there was a problem with the current threshold. In fact, maybe the better thing to change is to have the mayoral percentage match the council’s.

Before I get into the multiple arguments against this, let’s face it, this was cooked up by the mayor to make it harder for grassroots candidates like Stehly, Starr and Nietzert to run for office. Let’s say you win in the general but only get 40% of the vote and 2nd place has deeper pockets than you, guess who will probably win? This is clearly an elitist move, the public is certainly not that naive to think otherwise.

But let’s throw a little common sense behind this;

• A runoff election in NON-mayoral election years could cost taxpayers an extra $80K.

• It is already difficult enough to get people out to vote during a general muni election, think about getting them to come back 2-3 weeks later for a run-off.

• The state legislature, school board and the county commission all go by top vote getters.

• Ironically the two that are proposing this change are out the door this Spring and benefitted from the current set of rules. Rolfing won his first term in 2010 with 45.34% of the vote and Erpenbach won her first term in 2010 with 48.96% of the vote. If you look at other races since the 2000 municipal election, you will see that 7 other councilors won by receiving less than 51% of the vote. (DOC: runoffs)

Like I said, this is a ploy to keep the working class grass roots candidates down and the elitists with deep pockets or donors with deep pockets on the rubberstamp council.

Hopefully Rolfing and Erpenbach will have a change of heart and pull this ridiculous measure from future agendas, or they can face the music.

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission has NO objects to Lloyd TIF

Erica Beck from Lloyd Companies with taxpayer compensated Dustin Powers (filled in for Brent) from the City of Sioux Falls did a presentation today to the Minnehaha County Commission about the proposed $4.4 million dollar TIF. (FF to 46:00)

Lloyd Companies is saying they need the TIF for cleanup. But, that is kind of a stretch. Whether they need to clean up contaminated soil OR not, they still have to dig a hole for a parking garage. Instead of the TIF for cleanup, I have suggested FREE tipping fees for the project – the entire project. This wouldn’t cost the taxpayers much and we would still be able to receive full property taxes (approximately $450,000 a year) instead of $8,000 a year for approximately the next 13 years (Life of TIF).

My other suggestion would be for the city to actually contract the removal of the contaminated soil before turning over the land. There would probably be some Federal EPA grants to do this.

Lloyd Companies is maintaining they NEED this TIF to do the project. I find this a little hard to swallow.

Not only did the County Commission NOT object to the project and TIF, commissioner Dean Karsky had to inform the public that Lloyd Companies are the largest property tax payer in the county. I’m not even sure how this equates to being able to get a tax discount. What this tells me is that they have attained an enormous amount of wealth and property, and can certainly float this $44 million dollar project without this corporate welfare. It’s like saying Bill Gates deserves to eat a free meal at the Banquet everyday because he has attained so much wealth.

Once again Karsky defends who butters his bread, the Chamber and their esteemed members.

Jeff Barth @ Dem Forum (Friday, Aug 25, 2017)

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth explains the 2017 county budget planning, and tells a few jokes.

The difference between County & City budget hearings

The only thing on the Sioux Falls city council agenda this Tuesday is the joint budget hearings with Minnehaha county.

I was astonished by the 42 page budget presentation from Siouxland Museums. (Full DOC:  SX-Museum-budget-2018) Their total yearly budget is about $1.1 million!

What surprised me was with such a small budget the amount of detail in the presentation. They even figured out that each catalogued item in the collection cost taxpayers about $1.58 a year.

Why can’t the city present such detailed presentations to the public? I know that the council is probably privy to the big book, but why can’t we dig deeper? It often troubles me when councilors ask department heads questions about the budget at the meetings and they don’t have answers. Do they even read their own budgets? Do they know what’s in them? Could the director of Central Services tell us what the city pays for a roll of toilet paper?

Another reason the council should be involved with the budget process from the beginning and not at the end.

It really comes down to pinching pennies. While the county has to go through their budget with a fine tooth comb, the city is awash in so much money it seems they don’t care about the ‘little things’ like spending over $400 per episode of the mayor’s ‘Shut Up and Listen’ sessions.

I have often said the next mayor needs to be a fiscal hawk on day one and take a microscope and scalpel to the current budget on day one. That really should be the main job of the mayor besides employee management.

I’m a little weary that a motorcycle salesman could really look at those finer details.

Republican Leaders in SD continue to grasp at straws about the evil weed

Doesn’t matter how many FACTS you throw at Republican leaders in our state about the benefits of eliminating the prohibition of marijuana, they continue to grasp at any made up crap they can to call out on the evil weed.

Mayoral candidate and all around Shaggy double, David Zokaites did a presentation about drug prohibition and especially the worthless nature of prohibiting marijuana at public input during the Minnehaha county commission meeting this week AND the same presentation at the city council meeting.

At the end of the meeting during open discussion (FF: 1:14) Commissioner Jeff Barth said that the county and state should start the conversation now in case marijuana gets legalized in our state next year (which he thinks it will) when it comes to taxation, zoning, etc. He thought we were blindsided by Marsy’s Law and should be better prepared with marijuana legalization.

Bob Litz who happened to be standing at the podium talked about an upcoming speaker at a conference who is a sheriff from Colorado, who will speak about the effects of legalization in his state.

Of course, the commission’s Neo-Con, since Dick left, Cindy Heiberger had to weigh in. She said while David pointed out that NO one died from marijuana usage, she had to point out that it causes ‘social issues’.

I would partially agree, because people are tired of being arrested and prosecuted over a harmless drug, and the ‘issues’ it is causing in their lives.

What the heck are you talking about Bob?

(FF: 26:30)

Sometimes Mr. Kolbe tries to be sly about things he says, sometimes he is a little to sly. I think this is about ambulances, but I’m not sure.

Barth on the B-N-B show this morning

Jeff made some great points about crime and its relationship with population increases, he also stated the obvious about ambulance service in Sioux Falls; all we are asking for is more mutual aid.

Rex, admit it, you are the only one that gives a rip about hats

Look at that, two presenters at the Minnehaha County Meeting never removed their hats. In fact, during the presentation, not one single commissioner asked them to remove their hats. Why? Because it’s petty, just like the city councilor who constantly asks people to take off their hats.

There is a difference between ‘Readership’ and ‘Circulation’

circ

At the Minnehaha County Commission Meeting on Tuesday (FF:9:40), Carol Muller presented this chart when talking about choosing the county’s legal notice newspapers. She seemed to have confused ‘circulation’ with ‘readership’. But throughout the discussion, a couple of commissioners and even an Argus reporter got confused about circulation and readership. Eventually, the reporter, Mr. Walker did clarify that the circulation was different and made an estimate (that was close). According to the SD Newspaper Association website, the AL’s circulation is 26,137 daily and 36,000 on Sundays. Circulation means ‘printed and delivered’ papers. Readership is in reference to basically an assumption that more then one person reads a single printed paper. In other words, the number isn’t based on crap and is made up.

It’s unfortunate that Carol presented the wrong description to the commissioners. Hopefully Walker was abled to clear it up. Either way, a circulation of between 26-36,000 is pretty bad considering a metro area of over 250,000 residents.